Among the few positives from the Jets' 30-9 loss to the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday was wide receiver Chaz Schilens scoring his first touchdown as a member of the Green & White.
With 7:23 remaining in the game, No. 85 hauled in a 5-yard reception in the end zone from quarterback Mark Sanchez, narrowing Miami's lead to 27-9. The score capped a 13-play, 94-yard drive.
"It was bittersweet," Schilens said of the TD. "It doesn't matter much when you're getting your butts kicked that bad. So that's all I have to say about that."
Schilens joined the Jets back in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Now having competed in eight games with the Green & White, the 6"4', 225-pounder has 16 catches for 150 yards and one TD. Those numbers are on pace to being more productive than his final season in Oakland, when he had 23 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games played.
Schilens couldn't provide an explanation for why he and his teammates didn't perform better against their AFC East foes. The Jets were coming off a valiant effort against the Patriots at New England one week prior, and back in Week 3 they had defeated the same Miami squad on the road in overtime.
"We were just horrible all over, all over, all phases," he said. "We can't win with turnovers. I don't know how many times I've said it, after every game. We can't win with turnovers, and I think we were pretty inventive with the ways we found to turn the ball over."
Miami appeared to be the aggressor from the beginning and Schilens noted that the Dolphins' play on special teams could have been the difference.
"They did take some initiative," he said. "You have to give them that. They executed. They took a huge risk and they executed it pretty well. There's not much you can say. You have to give the credit to them… We shot ourselves in the foot in the punt block, some big returns they had, and I think their whole game plan was to keep the ball away from Jeremy [Kerley] and they about executed that as well as you possibly could. Jeremy's third best in the NFL and they didn't even give him a chance, so what are you going to do?"
Kerley was held to 43 yards on five receptions, and on Brandon Fields' six punts, he had no returns and two fair catches. Kerley remains in third place in the NFL with a 14.1-yard punt-return average heading into the ninth weekend of the season.
With the Dolphins displaying multiple blitzes, Schilens said Sanchez, who was sacked four times, was under a lot of pressure throughout the afternoon.
"The team we played last week barely blitzed at all," he said. "New England plays what they're going to play and they stay back in zone coverage. Miami had about 20 or 30 different blitzes coming from everywhere. That's a lot to pick up. It's a lot for the line and everyone, the backs and the tight ends to adjust to."
Schilens' only mission Sunday was for the Jets to earn a victory. They didn't. And although he scored his first touchdown as a Jet, his team now carries a 3-5 record into their bye and will use the week as a period of reflection and self-evaluation.
"It's time for a bye," he said. "It's time for us to regroup and figure out what we're doing wrong and figure out a way to do it better."